DENVER — Denver-based DaVita Inc. (NYSE: DVA) is using its global network of dialysis clinics to help get Covid-19 vaccines distributed to patients.
There are three ways dialysis patients can get access to vaccines, DaVita’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jeffrey Giullian told Denver Business Journal.
About 15% to 20% of dialysis patients live in nursing facilities, so many had access to vaccines in late December and early January. The second way is the same manner most of the general public is getting access to vaccines — through health systems and providers. The third way is direct allocation, which is where DaVita comes in. In that situation, a state or county gives DaVita a batch of vaccines.
“Direct allocation is the holy grail, it’s what we want the most because it’s the most convenient for our patients,” Giullian said.
It’s the holy grail because patients already have to visit dialysis centers. Patients usually see the same care providers and the same patients when they get their dialysis, so seeing familiar faces they trust receiving or distributing the vaccine also helps to encourage patients to push through any hesitancy they might have.
DaVita has clinics across the country and world, which means it’s coordinating with a multitude of government organizations. They’re tapping into their expertise distributing other vaccines — flu, Hepatitis B and other illnesses — through its centers.
It starts with the patients — health care providers have conversations ahead of time with patients to learn who wants the vaccine, who wants to consult with their doctor first, who is hesitant, and so on. They then work on getting patients the information they need to make an informed decision.
> Watch video above: Polis announces general public eligible for vaccine on Friday
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: COVID-19 Coronavirus